Thursday, 24 March 2011

The thing that didn't swing

I was so exited when Casey announced that she was hosting a sew-along with the Sense and Sensibility Swing Dress since I had just ordered it and was anxious to make it. But as it turned out my first dress attempt wasn't a triumph. I made the dress, discovered all the mistakes I'd made, tossed it in to the fabric stash and tried to forget about it. After a few weeks (and another this time a successful dress) I braved myself to fix the dress. Here's all the mistakes I made and what I did to fix them.

I think everything that could've gone wrong with this dress did.

1. I didn't make a muslin. BIG mistake. I did do a kind of a muslin, but I should've made the whole dress into a muslin. Here my impatience got the hold of me. I was so exited about the dress that I just wanted to wear it allready. Therefore after I'd sewn the waist band to the front bodice it didn't fit right. So I undid that seam and fitted it again. Luckily it only needed a little adjustment, I just sew the center front part with a bigger seam allowance.

2. The fabric was way wrong for a First Project fabric. This was the first dress I'd ever made (again, why didn't I do the muslin?!) and I would've been wise to choose a simpler fabric, like some cotton blend. Instead I chose superthin 100 % polyester. Not good. I should've underlined the whole thing and not just the waist band, which worked perfectly by the way.

3. The sleeves. I'm pinning this to the fabric choice as well, because it didn'd have any strech to it. So when I'd finally attached the first sleeve I tried the dress on and you guessed it, I couldn't lift my arm one bit. I did the easy thing and decided to make it sleeveless, since I figured summer is right around the corner and I can always but a cardigan on it. I finished the sleeves with India tape, I just didn't want to touch the fabric more than I absolutely had to and therefore I chose no to make bias tape of it.

4. The skirt side seams. Now this seems like such an easy error, but I managed to do this too. I hadn't realised that when sewing the side seams you should strech the fabric a bit as you go a long so that it doesn't sag. I did all the skirt seams without streching the fabric and the result was hidious. So I undid all the skirt seams. And had to resew the zipper in place as well, yay.

Close-up on the fabric.

What made the sewing of the alterations even more gruesome was that my sewing machine kept messing and tangling up the thread (sigh). I finally realised where the trouble was (the thread had escaped one part of its route) and got the dress finished. I'm not completely satisfied with it, but its an okay dress. And to think that if I'd just followed Casey's instructions and timetable I would've had a finished and perfect dress a while ago! I'm already planning my next swing dress, this time from two different coloured fabrics and with sleeves (here's hoping anyway). This time I'm going to follow Casey's instructions meticulously.

P.S. Here's a collection of beautiful swing dresses from the sew-along, the way they should look like.


Tämän piti olla se ensimmäinen hieno mekko, jonka päätin tehdä. Eipä sitten ollut sitä, ei. Tein paljon virheitä valmistellessa, ommellessa ja jopa kankaan valinnassa, mutta pahin virhe oli, että annoin periksi kärsimättömyydelleni. Korjausten jälkeen mekko on nyt jokseenkin käyttökelpoinen, ainakin neuletakin kanssa. Seuraavalla kerralla aion tehdä kaiken niin kuin vintageompelun guru Casey opetti ja valita järkevän kankaan ompelun helpottamiseksi.

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